It should be difficult to make a good investigative thriller. Each time the protagonist gets into a situation that leads him to a major breakthrough, you are like – ” okay, I have seen this before”. In Anjaam Pathiraa, writer-director Midhun Manuel Thomas does pick up a familiar template for this genre that you have seen in Memories and Ratsasan. But Midhun’s success is his adamance to still write few sequences newly and once in a while surprise the viewers.
One of the movie’s most terrific sequences is when police goes out in the streets at night walking 100 meter apart. How the police and the killer are keen to outsmart each other has come out very effectively in writing here. Also what works for Anjaam Pathiraa is its climax. Just as you think the movie would end in a predictable way you have seen in past investigation movies, Midhun deviates slightly and gets his last 10 minutes right. I look at the entire movie and perhaps it would have been only half effective if not for the way it ended.
Kunchacko Boban exceeded all my expectations. When the camera focuses on the minute change in expressions on his face is when you get some of the most engaging scenes in the movie. Even when you are able to guess what clue Kunchacko is about to find out in screen, you still feel you are with him at the edge of your seat because the actor connects so well with you. Sreenath Bhasi provides the comic relief. Both Indrans and Jaffer Idukki leave a very big impact in their small roles. But perhaps the movie’s biggest surprise is Unnimaya Prasad who portrays the senior police officer with absolute grace and intensity. The background score lacks the signature that Memories and Ratsasan had. But Shyju Khalid’s camera lends the movie phenomenal quality.
Anjaam Pathiraa is a welcome return to form for Malayalam Cinema in thriller genre since 2013 – the year that gave us the classic trio of Mumbai Police-Memories-Drishyam. How Midhum Manuel Thomas can switch from the sweet “Ann Maria Kalippliaanu” to the crazy “Aadu-2” to the thrilling “Anjaam Pathiraa” is a serious talent.